Kenro Izu is a visual thinker who makes use of photography to translate the life of dreamy plains and spiritual places into the tangible world. He is not overly fond of colors, preferring to seek for the unadorned truth within a wide spectrum of lights and shades. Izu is the photographer of dark valleys and bright peaks. He domesticates things inside the image before they fall into the trap of language and interpretation. These are the approaches of the Japanese-born, New York-based photographer, Kenro Izu.
The exhibition features three series: “Sacred Places,” the black and white “Still Life,” and “Blue.” Having made numerous journeys to sacred places that started back in 1979 with the Egyptian pyramids, Kenro began to observe and capture the spirituality present in these locations; places that are the permanent, concrete distillation of the religious, with illusory internalized imagery of external realities. The specific discourse embedded in Izu’s photography is the anthropocentrism of spirituality and worship.
The “Sacred Places” series takes the viewer to a wonderful place to encounter extra-human beings, even though he considers the fashioner of the place and its worshipers before raising specific question concerning the place itself. These photographs were taken between 1979-2013 during his journeys to these astonishing, spiritual sites.
Kenro Izu’s two still life series, one in blue and the other in black and white, are like museums that seek to present themselves as more than mere objects: they assume new meanings when juxtaposed. In these series, Izu offers a broader understanding of objects before we are able to speak about them, as he modesty illustrates the light-darkness spectrum.
Taken between 1991-1998, the black and white flowers of the “Still Life” series depict a thrilling, magical, poetic, and delightful adventure that is concurrently an embodied structure of the contrast between light and darkness. It is as though the light and dark gradations on the delicate textures of the flowers evoke the static flowers to a passionate dance.
In contrast to the passionate dance of the flowers in the “Still Life” series, the blue hues of the “Blue” series mark a return to spirituality and stillness. Captured between 2001-2004, the commonplace objects of the “Blue” series are reminiscent of Picasso’s Blue Period and the mystical aspects of the mundane.
Izu’s photography is a slice of life, a poetic atmosphere, and a shadow in the midst of light.